FLINT, Mich. – For parents who get on their kid’s case for spending too much time playing video games: your kids might be able to win the argument now.
Playing video games is now called esports -- and it’s a billion-dollar industry that, for many, is considered a competitive sport.
In recent years, universities across the nation have started offering scholarships to prospective students to join their esports teams. Flint’s Kettering University is the latest to offer such scholarships.
Longtime gamer Lauren Ward, a senior at Kettering University, says that esports are similar to traditional sports when it comes to learning and executing strategies and teamwork.
Kettering’s esports teams are brand new, having just formed in January of 2020. Kettering’s esports head coach Daniel Nowaczyk says the teams are organized in a familiar way, similar to high school sports.
“You have your athletic director and then it breaks down into your game coaches: your soccer coach, your baseball coach, your basketball coach,” Nowaczyk said. “It’s the same way for esports.”
The university is offering up to $4,000 every year in esports scholarship money for qualifying individuals. Officials say gamers are scouted just like athletes are for traditional college sports, and those who excel and meet certain criteria are offered scholarships that align with their skill level.
Other Michigan universities offer esports scholarships, including the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Oakland University.